European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 6, pp 2223–2232 | Cite as

Role of the coordinated activities of trunk and lower limb muscles during the landing-to-jump movement

  • Yoshiaki IidaEmail author
  • Hiroaki Kanehisa
  • Yuki Inaba
  • Kimitaka Nakazawa
Original Article


This study aimed to clarify how the activities of trunk and lower limb muscles during a landing-to-jump (L–J) movement are coordinated to perform the task effectively. Electromyography (EMG) activities of trunk and lower limb muscles as well as kinematic and ground reaction force data were recorded while 17 subjects performed 5 L–Js from a height of 35 cm. The L–J was divided into four phases: PRE phase, 100 ms preceding ground contact; ABSORPTION phase, from ground contact through 100 ms; BRAKING phase, from the end of the ABSORPTION phase to the time of the lowest center of mass position; and PROPULSION phase, from the end of the BRAKING phase to takeoff. The trunk extensor and flexors showed reciprocal activation patterns through the L–J. In the PROPULSION phase, the timings when the EMG activities of the extensor muscles peaked were characterized as a sequential proximal-to-distal pattern. Furthermore, the peak vertical ground reaction force in the ABSORPTION phase relative to body mass negatively correlated to the jump height of the L–J movement and positively correlated with the magnitude of the EMG activities of the soleus in the PRE phase and those of the soleus and rectus abdominis in the ABSORPTION phase. These findings indicate that the intensities and peak timings of muscle activities in the trunk and lower limb are coordinated during the L–J movement and, the coordinated activities would play functional roles such as impact absorption, braking against the descent of body and force generation and direction control for jumping.


Electromyogram Coordination Sequential pattern Impact absorption 



This study was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellows (No.23 4646) awarded to Y. Iida. We are grateful to Dr. Senshi Fukashiro, Dr. Kazutoshi Kudo, Dr. Shun Sasagawa, Ms. Naoko Oba, Mr. Katsutoshi Yaeshima and Mr. Akito Miura for their contribution to this study.


  1. Arampatzis A, Bruggemann GP, Klapsing GM (2001a) Leg stiffness and mechanical energetic processes during jumping on a sprung surface. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33:923–931PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arampatzis A, Schade F, Walsh M, Bruggemann GP (2001b) Influence of leg stiffness and its effect on myodynamic jumping performance. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 11:355–364PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baca A (1999) A comparison of methods for analyzing drop jump performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 31:437–442PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blackburn JT, Padua DA (2008) Influence of trunk flexion on hip and knee joint kinematics during a controlled drop landing. Clin Biomech 23:313–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blackburn JT, Padua DA (2009) Sagittal-plane trunk position, landing forces, and quadriceps electromyographic activity. J Athl Train 44:174–179PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bobbert MF (1990) Drop jumping as a training method for jumping ability. Sports Med 9:7–22PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bobbert MF, van Ingen Schenau GJ (1988) Coordination in vertical jumping. J Biomech 21:249–262PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bobbert MF, Mackay M, Schinkelshoek D, Huijing PA, van Ingen Schenau GJ (1986) Biomechanical analysis of drop and countermovement jumps. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 54:566–573PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bobbert MF, Huijing PA, van Ingen Schenau GJ (1987a) Drop jumping I. The influence of jumping technique on the biomechanics of jumping. Med Sci Sports Exerc 19:332–338PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Bobbert MF, Huijing PA, van Ingen Schenau GJ (1987b) Drop jumping II. The influence of dropping height on the biomechanics of drop jumping. Med Sci Sports Exerc 19:339–346PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Brown CN, Padua DA, Marshall SW, Guskiewicz KM (2009) Variability of motion in individuals with mechanical or functional ankle instability during a stop jump maneuver. Clin Biomech 24:762–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cholewicki J, Juluru K, McGill SM (1999) Intra-abdominal pressure mechanism for stabilizing the lumbar spine. J Biomech 32:13–17PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Derrick TR (2004) The effects of knee contact angle on impact forces and accelerations. Med Sci Sports Exer 36:832–837CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Devita P, Skelly WA (1992) Effect of landing stiffness on joint kinetics and energetics in the lower extremity. Med Sci Sports Exer 24:108–115Google Scholar
  15. Dyhre-Poulsen P, Simonsen EB, Voigt M (1991) Dynamic control of muscle stiffness and H reflex modulation during hopping and jumping in man. J Physiol 437:287–304PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Eloranta V (1996) Effect of postural and load variation on the coordination of the leg muscles in concentric jumping movement. Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol 36:59–64PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Eloranta V (1997) Effect of postural and load variation on the coordination of the leg muscles in rebound jumping movement. Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol 37:79–88PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Farina D (2006) Interpretation of the surface electromyogram in dynamic contractions. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 34:121–127PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Granata KP, Wilson SE (2001) Trunk posture and spinal stability. Clin Biomech 16:650–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Granata KP, Orishimo KF, Sanford AH (2001) Trunk muscle coactivation in preparation for sudden load. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 11:247–254PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Grillner S, Nilsson J, Thorstensson A (1978) Intra-abdominal pressure changes during natural movements in man. Acta Physiol Scand 103:275–283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hara M, Shibayama A, Takeshita D, Hay DC, Fukashiro S (2008) A comparison of the mechanical effect of arm swing and countermovement on the lower extremities in vertical jumping. Hum Mov Sci 27:636–648PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hislop H, Montgomery J (2002) Muscle testing, techniques of manual examination, 7th Edition. WB Saunders, MemphisGoogle Scholar
  24. Hodges PW, Richardson CA (1997) Contraction of the abdominal muscles associated with movement of the lower limb. Phys Ther 77:132–142 discussion 142–134PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Hoffren M, Ishikawa M, Komi PV (2007) Age-related neuromuscular function during drop jumps. J Appl Physiol 103:1276–1283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Horita T, Komi PV, Nicol C, Kyröläinen H (1996) Stretch shortening cycle fatigue: interactions among joint stiffness, reflex, and muscle mechanical performance in the drop jump [corrected]. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 73:393–403PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Horita T, Komi PV, Nicol C, Kyrolainen H (2002) Interaction between pre-landing activities and stiffness regulation of the knee joint musculoskeletal system in the drop jump: implications to performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 88:76–84PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Iida Y, Kanehisa H, Inaba Y, Nakazawa K (2011) Activity modulations of trunk and lower limb muscles during impact-absorbing landing. J Electromyogr Kines 21(4):602–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jacobs R, van Ingen Schenau GJ (1992) Intermuscular coordination in a sprint push-off. J Biomech 25:953–965PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kawabata M, Kagaya Y, Shima N, Nishizono H (2008) Changes in intra-abdominal pressure and trunk activation during drop jump. Jpn J Phys Fit Sport 57:225–234Google Scholar
  31. Kellis E, Kouvelioti V (2007) Agonist versus antagonist muscle fatigue effects on thigh muscle activity and vertical ground reaction during drop landing. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 19:55–64PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kellis E, Arabatzi F, Papadopoulos C (2003) Muscle co-activation around the knee in drop jumping using the co-contraction index. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 13:229–238PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kovacs I, Tihanyi J, Devita P, Racz L, Barrier J, Hortobagyi T (1999) Foot placement modifies kinematics and kinetics during drop jumping. Med Sci Sport Exer 31:708–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kulas AS, Schmitz RJ, Schultz SJ, Watson MA, Perrin DH (2006a) Energy absorption as a predictor of leg impedance in highly trained females. J Appl Biomech 22:177–185PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Kulas AS, Schmitz RJ, Shultz SJ, Henning JM, Perrin DH (2006b) Sex-specific abdominal activation strategies during landing. J Athl Train 41:381–386PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Kulas AS, Zalewski P, Hortobagyi T, DeVita P (2008) Effects of added trunk load and corresponding trunk position adaptations on lower extremity biomechanics during drop-landings. J Biomech 41:180–185PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kulas AS, Hortobagyi T, Devita P (2010) The interaction of trunk-load and trunk-position adaptations on knee anterior shear and hamstrings muscle forces during landing. J Athl Train 45:5–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lavender SA, Marras WS, Miller RA (1993) The development of response strategies in preparation for sudden loading to the torso. Spine 18:2097–2105PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lazaridis S, Bassa E, Patikas D, Giakas G, Gollhofer A, Kotzamanidis C (2010) Neuromuscular differences between prepubescents boys and adult men during drop jump. Eur J Appl Physiol 110:67–74PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lee PJ, Rogers EL, Granata KP (2006) Active trunk stiffness increases with co-contraction. J Electromyogr Kines 16:51–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lees A (1981) Methods of impact absorption when landing from a jump. Engineering in Medicine 10:207–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lees A, Fahmi E (1994) Optimal drop heights for plyometric training. Ergonomics 37:141–148PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McMillan AG, Phillips KA, Collier DN, Blaise Williams DS (2010) Frontal and sagittal plane biomechanics during drop jump landing in boys who are obese. Pediatr Phys Ther 22:34–41PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mrdakovic V, Ilic DB, Jankovic N, Rajkovic Z, Stefanovic D (2008) Pre-activity modulation of lower extremity muscles within different types and heights of deep jump. J Sports Sci Med 7:269–278Google Scholar
  45. Nagano A, Komura T, Fukashiro S (2007) Optimal coordination of maximal-effort horizontal and vertical jump motions–a computer simulation study. Biomed Eng Online 6:20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pandy MG, Zajac FE (1991) Optimal muscular coordination strategies for jumping. J Biomech 24:1–10PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Panjabi MM (1992) The stabilizing system of the spine.1. Function, dysfunction, adaptation, and enhancement. J Spinal Disord 5:383–389PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Santello M (2005) Review of motor control mechanisms underlying impact absorption from falls. Gait Posture 21:85–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shultz SJ, Nguyen AD, Leonard MD, Schmitz RJ (2009) Thigh strength and activation as predictors of knee biomechanics during a drop jump task. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41:857–866PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. van Ingen Schenau GJ, Bobbert MF, Rozendal RH (1987) The unique action of bi-articular muscles in complex movements. J Anat 155:1–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. van Roon D, Steenbergen B, Meulenbroek RG (2005) Trunk use and co-contraction in cerebral palsy as regulatory mechanisms for accuracy control. Neuropsychologia 43:497–508PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Walsh M, Arampatzis A, Schade F, Brüggemann GP (2004) The effect of drop jump starting height and contact time on power, work performed, and moment of force. J Strength Cond Res 18:561–566PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Walshe AD, Wilson GJ (1997) The influence of musculotendinous stiffness on drop jump performance. Can J Appl Physiol 22:117–132PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Winter D (2009) Biomechanics and motor control of human movement. WileyGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhang SN, Bates BT, Dufek JS (2000) Contributions of lower extremity joints to energy dissipation during landings. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32:812–819PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshiaki Iida
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hiroaki Kanehisa
    • 3
  • Yuki Inaba
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kimitaka Nakazawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life Sciences (Sports Sciences)University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)TokyoJapan
  3. 3.National Institute of Fitness and Sports in KanoyaKanoyaJapan

Personalised recommendations